Physical brick-and-mortar stores are having a tough time these days primarily because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with majority of the people staying in their homes. Just imagine that much coveted foot traffic in malls and commercial centers going to zero. It really spells disaster for many retail stores.
Forbes reported that more than 14,000 stores have closed so far this year? Many of these businesses had to declare bankruptcy, while a few just had to close temporarily, waiting for this pandemic to end and then trying again.
It is indeed a retail nightmare with what is happening today. And with many layoffs and business closures, the end seem to still be in the distance.
But there is still hope. According to Green Street Advisors, department stores still occupy 60% of the malls. And with the expected advances in the creation of a vaccine, it is with much hope that the economy will go back to a level of normalcy, which will have people going outside once again.
In the meantime, if you are a retail store owner or manager, there are still some things that you can do to attract customers to your business.
Make customers feel safe going into your store
It is important that you effectively send the message that your store is a safe place to be in. Show them that there is close to zero chances of anyone getting the coronavirus when they step inside. You can do this by posting on your social media accounts photos and videos of your staff cleaning and disinfecting the whole store. You can also post an ad stating how serious you are with your store’s cleanliness, with your staff following health protocols and enforcing social distancing.
These are the times when showing off really pays. The more people know about your store’s condition, the better it is for your business. And do it every single day. Competition is tougher these days. You need to be loud and consistent with your marketing efforts. Show people your dedication in fighting the virus, and they will learn to trust your business.
Make your store as inviting as possible
Beautify it. Make it very attractive. Add some colors to make the front stand out or display your latest and most exciting merchandise by the window. Sometimes simply sprucing up the facade is enough to get people interested and wanting to come in.
But don’t just focus on your storefront. Go beyond that, literally speaking. Make sure that the pavement is clean and that you have signs put up to get the attention of passersby. Do you have trees, plants, and flowers? Keep them healthy and vibrant by watering and trimming them regularly. Consider getting a tree care specialist to carry out micronutrient fertilization to keep your greenery in great shape.
Try online selling or home delivery
These days, you just can’t blame people for shying away from going to commercial or business centers. You can, and should, still maintain your physical store and wait for the pandemic to end. But in the meantime, you can try going to your customers instead. Put up an online store either by having your own website or using your social media accounts. Sell and promote your products online and partner with a reliable delivery service.
With this setup, you should be careful and always get the orders right. Double-check that you have the right items being shipped out. You will surely hear about it on social media should you make a mistake.
Your customers will appreciate that you are doing everything you can to fulfill their needs, based on the current business and health situations.
Try curbside pickups
It is only natural that people would still want to go outside to buy stuff. But they might be a bit apprehensive with actually going inside a store. A solution to that is by organizing curbside pickups. Your customers can order over the phone or online, and they can drop by to pick up the item just outside your store. You still get to see your customers and provide the topnotch service you’ve always been known for.
Be resilient, and you will survive
Every pandemic in history has an end. What you need to do right now is to be tough and try to brave the storm. You also need to adapt to the changing times. Who knows, a year or two from now, the economic atmosphere and the way people do business may radically change. Lastly, learn to embrace new technology and new ways of doing business. The smartest retailers will have the highest chances of survival.